Attacks against reproductive rights have long been centered around arguments of morality. In 2017, a Pew Research Center study found nearly half of Americans believed abortion is morally wrong.
This belief ignores a fundamental truth: Abortion is a medical procedure, and everyone should have the right to these procedures. It is not different from any other medical procedure — and abortion is not a moral issue.
Reproductive rights are especially under attack right now, as there have been 28 new legislative abortion bans in the first quarter of 2019 alone. There are also states that have outdated abortion bans from the pre-Roe v. Wade era, including Arizona.
The rhetoric being used by those against abortion is deeply hypocritical.
For example, these same states that are attempting to ban abortion aren't trying to ban prostate surgeries or vasectomies — they are directly targeting people who seek abortions, specifically women or anyone capable of becoming pregnant.
This idea is apparent in the student club, Students for Life, which exists to promote the abolition of abortion — a policy that would obliterate reproductive rights. This was displayed at an event they just hosted on Nov. 6, titled "Make Abortion Illegal Again."
When we talk about abortion now, it's also a critical mistake for people to use the term "pro-life" to describe the stance of those who are against reproductive and women's rights. The term "life," when used in this way, completely ignores the life of the person who seeks an abortion procedure.
This mistake is made by Students for Life by default.
In defense of the event, Taylor Martinez, a senior majoring in graphic design and the president of Students for Life at ASU said, "This event is an amazing opportunity for those who disagree to respectfully converse with our speaker and ask any and all difficult questions that abortion often brings up."
As a woman, it's disgusting to me that the conversation around our bodies is being put up for judgment by politicians and anti-abortion lobbying groups. My body is strictly my own business, not the business of these random groups who are trying to suppress the freedom of people everywhere.
“I think a lot of people will kind of view abortion as a necessary evil, but I think abortion is a medical miracle," said Bailey Price a junior studying civic and economic thought and leadership and the data entry manager for ASU's Planned Parenthood Generation Action.
"It's just health care, and anyone who is actively against abortion is just trying to suppress the rights of women," she said.
A better substitute for "pro-life," Price said, is anti-choice.
"Where the anti-choice choice movement is bred is just in suppressing women's rights and anyone who doesn’t have access to reproductive health care," she said.
The only life at stake during an abortion is the life of the one having the procedure. So if there's one thing that the anti-choice movement is against, it's the safety of actual human lives.
A movement based around suppressing the legality of a medical procedure is just as guilty of endangering lives as those that they accuse.
Students for Life and the entire anti-choice movement are anything but pro-life.
The movement does not equally speak out on the locking of kids in cages in ICE concentration camps, the murders of kids shot by police, the foster system and other issues that endanger and take the lives of children that are actually alive.
While anti-abortion pundits continue to refer to abortion as a moral issue, a closer look at the movement's beliefs reveals those who support it truly don't care about people or children at all. Centuries of patriarchy, sexism, racism and socioeconomic factors continue to shape the way in which abortion is viewed today as a political issue.
How we view this issue here at ASU matters because there are clubs on campus that want to completely take away the fundamental right to abortions. The ASU community should stand up against all attacks against reproductive rights — abortion is not a moral issue, it is empowering for women and for all those who need this medical care.
Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.
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